Body Off!!!

This afternoon I used my new hoist to lift the body off the frame and put it onto the rolling body stand I built previously. This is a pretty significant milestone in this project. There were a couple of surprises and it was pretty hectic maneuvering the body around at some points, but in the end we were successful.

I began by moving the body stand up close next to the car. Then I moved the hoist into place from the right rear of the car, with the long legs of the hoist straddling the right rear wheel. I attached the load-leveler to the hoist hook and attached the two lifting chains to either end of the leveler. The chains I bolted into the body through the holes for the factory rollbar. I used the two 5/8″ body/frame bolts that were located in the trunk because they were a perfect fit.

I started pumping the hoist and the body began to lift in the back. At first it didn’t budge, but after a few pumps there was a satisfying “clunk” and up it went.

Unfortunately the rear end seemed to be caught and the wheel began to lift off the ground. I quickly lowered the hoist. Underneath I saw that the culprit was the emergency brake cable. Apparently where I disconnected the cable was not sufficient and there was another connection of the cable to the body. I disconnected the cable by removing a cotter-pin that fed through a post and then removing the post that held the cable in place. That did it.

So I continued the hoisting. I noticed that the rear was lifting but the front was not. At first I thought that the rearward chain mounting points were just to far back and the rear would lift more than the front. However, after a while I noticed that there were a couple of connections in the engine bay that I had missed that were tying the body to the frame. These included a coupling for a coolant line (I think) and an electrical ground to the frame. I removed these connections but there was still something remaining. It turned out to be an oil line feeding the transmission. I disconnected this using a 3/8″ socket wrench on the manifold in the engine bay.

With those lines disconnected the body came fully free. I didn’t (or couldn’t) take any pictures of the intervening dance that resulted in getting the body up and over and onto the body stand. Anyone who has done this before themselves will know that it is quick and simple, especially on a 94 degree day (yeah right). Here are some pictures of the body up on the stand.

Here are shots of where the body rests on the cross pieces of the stand. The dimensions of Mark Sedlack’s plan are just perfect.

I finally am able to get a good look at the frame! It is filthy, as I’d expect. The frame seems to be very solid with some surface rust.

In addition to the other things I have going on I next need to get the frame prepared for sand-blasting and the body ready for bodywork and eventually painting.

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